This week I was able to attend the Staffing Industry Analysts – Staffing Trends Webinar. The SIA did a great job of presenting data that covered everything from negative trends, to opportunities, to macro-economic employment information. Although they pointed to many factors that suggested things were stabalizing their first slide of an arrow pointing to the center of a hurricane reading “we are still here” kept our optimism in check.
Of all the data presented two slides stood out to me the most. These two slides compared survey data of what staffing suppliers said they were focusing on this year versus last, and compared this information with the current priorities being reported by top performing staffing firms.
Some top priorities listed, as reported by staffing suppliers nation wide:
- Growing Revenue: 56%
- Expanding/Diversifying Clients: 41%
- Growing Market Share: 31%
- Retaining Clients: 26%
This seems somewhat obvious right? Grow your business and keep the business you have. However, what surprised me was from where these same suppliers were shifting their focus.
35% of top performing staffing firms listed – Retaining/Recruiting Top Quality Internal Staff – as a key success factor. However, the survey results for suppliers nationwide showed a significant decrease from this year to last in this area.
- All firms in 2008: 31%
- All firms in 2009: 9%
31% of top performing staffing firms listed – Providing Excellent Customer Service - as a key success factor. But again, the survey results for suppliers nationwide showed a decrease from this year to last in this area.
- All firms in 2008: 30%
- All firms in 2009: 22%
To me, it begs two questions:
- Who is going to grow your revenue if you are not focusing on your internal employees and keeping them happy?
- How is it you will retain your customers by lowering your standards of support?
IMHO: I think sometimes it’s easy for owners and executives of companies to
become so focused on revenue that they forget who brought in and
created that revenue in the first place. This downturn won’t last forever. When things do change be careful you don’t look up and realize you have a whole new set of problems – unhappy customers and a shortage of good employees.
Oh where oh where have all the jobs gone?